Comparing Conversational Market Research With What We Know

by · September 19, 20122 comments

On Monday I presented some initial findings in the upcoming new edition of The Conversation Report: What Consumers Are Saying About Restaurants to the Food Service Social Media Universe event in Chicago. We’re deep into the research for that report now and hope to have it ready to publish by early next month. (To be added to the email list for an update when it’s ready, just visit The Conversation Report online.)

One of the points of confusion for some we talk to about The Conversation Report and conversational market research is how it differs from what they already know: traditional market research. Well, since I’m also involved in The Social Habit, which is a more traditional research product, I thought I’d use that as a comparison point.

It’s important to know and keep in mind that the type of market research we do at Social Media Explorer — Conversational Market Research — is not a replacement for syndicated (The Social Habit, Nielsen, Pew Internet & American Life Project) or even custom research (That which Edison Research does quite well.) In fact, our type of research supplements the others and sometimes even helps you get a glimpse of what people are saying online to better inform the type of additional research you need to purchase to have a holistic view of your audience. This makes it easier for you to make smart marketing decisions.

So here’s a quick little chart to explain some of the big differences in a product like The Conversation Report and The Social Habit.

Probably the biggest difference is that The Social Habit is essentially a custom research project — a survey of 3,000 Americans 12-and-over, weighed to be a representative sample of the U.S. population — that is essentially sold to companies that are interested in knowing the usage behavior of Americans with regard to social media. The Conversation Report is, essentially, social media monitoring taken to 3-4 more levels of depth in research. We don’t just rely on machines to spit out charts and graphs. We actually ask similar questions to that of a survey instrument, but only as the results of finding what’s being said online emerge. One chart leads us to ask deeper questions and so on.

Hopefully that clarifies a bit of what Conversational Market Research is. Conveniently, you’ll be able to compare both very closely next month as The Social Habit’s first quarterly deployment is fit for consumption. You should jump over to The Social Habit and sign up for the report or even place an annual subscription since we’ll be doing it all over again in Q4 and trending how people use social and new media. (The questions we asked this time around are so much more in-depth than even the awesome questions asked in previous Social Habits. Sign up for this now!) You can also hit The Conversation Report online and sign up for notifications when the new report on restaurants comes out. Both products should be ready early next month.

So what do you think about Conversational Market Research? Is it something you’d be interested in seeing for your brand? How is it useful? Why is it not? The comments are yours.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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